More than 60 people came out to the RCMP Open House at the Fillmore Memorial Hall Wednesday night. The open house was organized by the Weyburn detachment of the RCMP, which also has officers in Radville and Fillmore, to talk about rural crime, and to hear concerns residents of the area have.

“We’re here, just to impress upon the local communities we are actually here, and our whole goal of policing is to keep them safe in the wake of any reports of a rural crime outbreak,” explained Sergeant Brian Neilmeyer with the Weyburn detachment.

The topics discussed by those in attendance were varied but were centred around rural crime in the southeast.

For many of those gathered, one of the big questions was about the use of force if someone is in their yard, or on their land. The topic stems from some high profile incidents in recent years, most notably the Gerald Stanley case. The RCMP explained what the amount of force to be used in a situation was, what the roles and responsibilities of the homeowner are, and more. The key part of the message from the RCMP was to use what felt necessary to be safe, and at the same time, whatever the homeowner would be willing to take responsibility for when answering to the RCMP.

Other topics which were discussed included bus safety, in particular, what school buses can do to improve the safety of the children when picking them up and dropping them off.

Keys in farm vehicles was also a point of discussion, in particular on the farm. The RCMP pointed out why keys should not be left in vehicles, while some residents of the area explained they do leave them in the car, so the car is stolen, and the house not broken in to.

With the RCMP from the three communities have a large area to cover, including 33 communities, Sgt. Neilmeyer introduced the clerk for the detachment, Sara Thompson, who lives in Radville, and handles duties at the office in Radville, as well as at the office in Weyburn. Thompson described the types of calls she sees on a regular basis and explained what happens during the day to day operations. She also highlighted for those who have been victims of crime, there are resources available.

“If you are a victim of crime, and you are having a hard time moving past, we have people in place, besides us, who can help you move forward,” Thompson said.

Overall, the meeting felt like a successful one, according to Sgt. Neilmeyer.

“It was a fantastic showing,” Sgt. Neilmeyer said. “I think we accomplished probably more, again, the amount of people that we had is a testament to the fact that they actually do care, which is perfect.”

The RCMP is considering another town hall in the Weyburn area, more than likely to be held in the fall.

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